Bruno de Almeida was born in Paris of Portuguese origins. He has lived between New York City and Lisbon since 1985.
Bruno de Almeida started his artistic career has a musician in the New York downtown music scene in the mid 80's. He was a guitarist with Graham Haynes fusion band No Image playing in several clubs in New York City. Along with Mr. Haynes, he formed an experimental music duo playing in such places like The Knitting Factory and The Roulette. He played guitar with The Saheb Sarbib Quintet at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and had a Jazz duo with guitarist Sérgio Pelágio. Bruno de Almeida went on to compose music for film and dance pieces. He wrote music for choreographers Francisco Camacho, Vera Mantero, Paulo Ribeiro, among others.
In 1988, Bruno de Almeida joined Film/Video Arts in NYC where he became a filmmaker starting out as a cameraman and film editor. He photographer several shorts and music videos for other filmmakers learning the technical craft hands on. At Film/Video Arts he made his first short film Anti-Glamour, a documentary about photographer Pepe Diniz.
Bruno de Almeida went on to open his production company Arco Films in 1990 as an outlet to produce his own films. His first directorial job was a video concert of the legendary singer Amália Rodrigues "Amália Rodrigues, live in NYC" which was shot at NY's Town Hall. The video was distributed by EMI.
In 1992, Bruno de Almeida directed the film "The King in Exile" about the dance piece by choreographer Francisco Camacho which played on television and Festivals worldwide. He has collaborated with Mr. Camacho since then.
Bruno de Almeida's first dramatic film, The Debt, starring Scott Renderer, Kristen Johnston and Paul Lazar, won the award for best short at the Cannes Film Festival Critic's Week in 1993 and had a long run playing in 85 film festivals. The film won another eight awards and was subsequently released theatrically ahead of features, and broadcast in several countries.
In 1994, Bruno de Almeida made a five-hour television series about Amália Rodrigues called Amália, A Strange Way of Living which was broadcast on television in 1995. It was then released on a deluxe set VHS set by EMI and is presently available on DVD.
Bruno de Almeida's feature debut On the Run starring Michael Imperioli, John Ventimiglia (both of The Sopranos) and written by Joe Minion (writer of After Hours)won the award for best film at the 1999 Ourense Film Festival in Spain. On the Run was nominated for a Critic's award at the Paris Film Festival and for an Open Palm at the Gotham Awards in New York in 2000. It was released theatrically and broadcast in Europe and in the US. It had its cable debut on The Independent Film Channel in 2001, and was released on DVD in 2002, becoming a cult classic.
His second feature was The Art of Amália, a documentary about Amália Rodrigues which was produced for American audiences. It was released theatrically, and had a long run across the US, in 2000. The film was broadcast in the US and Europe and was released on DVD in July 2004 by EMI. It went double platinum as the top-selling DVD in Portugal for four consecutive weeks. The film continues to play around the world celebrating Amália Rodrigues music.
Bruno's third feature, O Candidato Vieira, was a documentary about the satirical Portuguese rock star Manuel João Vieira, who ran for presidential candidate in 2001. It was released in the summer of 2005 on a double DVD along with a concert video of his band Ena Pá 2000.
Bruno de Almeida has also directed other projects that include documentaries, commercials, and music videos. From 1999 to 2004, he directed several projects for the The Independent Film Channel. In 2005, Almeida created a film for Live/Evil - Evil/Live, a dance piece by choreographer Francisco Camacho which premiered at the International Dance Festival in Algarve and was shown at Lisbon's Culturgest. Almeida continued his collaboration with Mr. Camacho with the film for the dance piece RIP in 2010 also shown at Lisbon's Culturgest and other festivals. Bruno directed the music video "Sei de um Rio" for fado singer [Camané], in 2008 and in 2013 he directed Fado Celeste: Homenagem aos 90 anos a tribute to singer Celeste Rodrigues (Amália's sister) 90th birthday.
In 2005, he completed his fourth feature film, The Collection, a compilation of 24 short stories that were developed and created with a group of New York actors and writers over a four-year period. It was released on DVD in April 2006 by Midas Filmes.
In 2007, Bruno de Almeida's fifth feature The Lovebirds, starring Michael Imperioli, Drena De Niro, John Ventimiglia, Joaquim de Almeida, and Ana Padrão, won the Jury Prize at Fantasporto Film Festival director's week and at the Best director and screenplay awards of the Ourense International Film Festival. It had a successful theatrical run and DVD release in Portugal and played in film festivals worldwide.
His film 6=0 Homeostética, a feature documentary about the art group pt:Homeostética, won a special mention award at the DocLisboa Festival in 2008. It was released in theaters, broadcast on television and released on DVD by Midas Filmes.
Bruno de Almeida's Bobby Cassidy: Counterpuncher, a feature documentary on the former professional boxer from Levittown, New York was played at DocLisboa Festival and was released theatrically in 2009. The film was broadcast on television and released on DVD. Bruno also documented a series of retired fighters in After the Fight a documentary film still in progress.
In 2012, he made Operation Autumn, a political thriller about the 1965 killing of General Humberto Delgado by the Portuguese fascist police, was released in theaters. With an ensemble cast that includes John Ventimiglia, Ana Padrão, Marcello Urgeghe, Nuno Lopes, among others, it went on to win several awards including the SPA best actor award for Carlos Santos. The film was produced by Paulo Branco. It was also broadcast on television, release on DVD an shown in film festivals worldwide.
Bruno de Almeida was invited by Guimarães 2012, European Capital of Culture to make a 30-minute film. The result was the Lecture starring John Frey and Ana Padrão which was shown in Film Festivals. This film the first third of a feature which is a work-in-progress. The second story takes place in Sintra.
Bruno de Almeida ninth feature Fado Camané, is a documentary about acclaimed fado singer Camané. It premiered at the DocLisboa Festival on and went to a successful theatrical release in October 2014. It has played in film festivals worldwide and is considered one of best fado documentaries to date.
In 2016, Bruno de Almeida directed Cabaret Maxime the story about a cabaret owner trying to keep his club from being taken over by the powers that be. Written by Bruno de Almeida and John Frey, the film stars Michael Imperioli, Ana Padrão, John Ventimiglia, David Proval, Nick Sandow, Mike Starr and Manuel João Vieira among others. Cabaret Maxime was produced by Bruno de Almeida, Michael Imperioli and Jason Kliot. Release dates TBA.